The daisy family, Asteraceae or Compositae, is large, with more than 25,000 species worldwide. Family members include edibles, herbs, weeds, perennial and annual flowering plants, and shrubs. Some species of daisies are native to North America, and attract butterflies and birds. All daisy family members are relatively hardy, blooming with flowers throughout the year under the right conditions. The plants are suitable for use in native and butterfly gardens, as well as for borders and in containers.
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is a herbaceous, clumping perennial hardy in USDA planting zones 3 through 9. It is native to North America. Plants produce long-lasting, purple, daisy-like flowers with brown cone-like centers. Flowers bloom in spring and throughout the summer. Plants are suitable for container gardens, in flower, butterfly and native gardens, and for borders.
Plants prefer growing in full to partial sun. They grow up to 3 feet in height and spread at maturity. Purple coneflower is drought tolerant but grows and flowers best with regular watering. It will tolerate occasional soil wetness. During winter, cool temperatures in the twenties result in the plant dying to the ground only to resprout in springtime.
Daisy bush (Gamolepis chrysanthemoides) a South African native, is an herbaceous perennial that grows best in USDA planting zones 8 through 11. It is an evergreen in warmer regions, dying to the ground in cooler areas only to re-sprout in springtime. Plants have dark green foliage and a mounding habit. Yellow, daisy-like flowers cover the plant in spring, with warmer areas experiencing year-round blooms. Plants are suitable in containers, borders or mixed flower gardens.
Daisy bush flowers best in full sun, but tolerates partial sun conditions. It has a moderate drought tolerance and grows best with regular watering. Plants prefer growing in well-draining soils and can reach 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide at maturity.
Blanket flower (Gaillardia) is a clumping perennial well suited for growing in USDA planting zones 8 through 11. There are several cultivars, some native to North America. Flowers bloom in late spring throughout summer. All cultivars have pinwheel, daisy-like flowers in mixes of oranges, reds and yellows, with large, cone-like centers. Blanket flower attracts a variety of butterflies and does well in native and butterfly gardens, as well as in borders, containers and mixed flower gardens.
Plants have a high drought tolerance but will flower and look their best when watered regularly. Blanket flower prefers growing in well-draining, sandy or loam soil in full sun. It's a fast grower, and plants reach up to 2 feet in height and 3 feet in width at maturity.